RB Leipzig’s Haidara confesses love for Manchester United amid reported links

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Amadou Haidara Jurgen Ekkelenkamp RB Leipzig Hertha BSC 2021
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The Mali international is said to be top of Ralf Rangnick's transfer wishlist at Old Trafford

RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara said Manchester United was his favourite team as a kid and he is a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo amid reports linking him with a move to Old Trafford.

According to Marca, the 23-year-old is a top target for the Red Devils ahead of the January transfer window as interim boss Ralf Rangnick looks to reunite with his former player.

Rangnick took Haidara to Leipzig from RB Salzburg in January 2019 and the Mali star has established himself in the Bundesliga with consistent performances.

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He scored his first Champions League goal against Manchester United in December 2020 (a 3-2 win for Leipzig) and he has admitted that he is enjoying his time at the Red Bull Arena where he has scored two goals in 12 league matches this season.

“Everyone had a favourite team as a kid. Mine was Manchester United,” Haidara told Bild, per Manchester Evening News.

“I was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, I liked Paul Scholes, Patrice Evra, Edwin van der Sar, Anderson.

"But if you want to talk to me about rumours: I’m at Leipzig and I feel good."

Haidara further praised United boss Rangnick as a coach who transformed his career with his confidence.

"Yes, Ralf plays a very big role in my career. Don’t forget, when Leipzig wanted to get me, I tore my cruciate ligament,” he continued.

"But Ralf said that I should come anyway. I wouldn’t have expected that back then.

"I’m very grateful to him because he really wanted me and gave me great confidence as a coach in Leipzig.

“He later told me to stay with RB and trust that Julian Nagelsmann would make me better."

The 23-year-old played a role in Mali's qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations which will begin in January.

He is expected to make his second appearance in the tournament when the West African nation battle Tunisia at the Limbe Stadium on January 12.

Mali also have Mauritania and Gambia to contend against in Group F.